Thursday, December 27, 2012

Here comes {the BOOM circuits}

Haters gonna hate but you gotta stay with me through this one.  I want you to read on but for some of you, you're going to have to stick out this next sentence like you're ripping a bandaid off, k?

The soundtracks have made the whole Twilight phenomenon worth it.

Ok, there I said it - but STAY WITH ME!  As a die hard music fan, the soundtracks have been like getting a mixtape from that friend that seems to have the best taste in music and always has the best music playing in their car at all times.  Listening to each soundtrack for the first time was like Christmas morning when it's snowing outside and you get everything you asked for that year...A little over dramatic, but you get the picture.  I have discovered a lot of amazing artists because of these soundtracks so, therefore, I am grateful.

This last soundtrack was equally impressive as the last four, if not better.  When I get a new album, I like to listen to the whole thing continuously in order at least twice if not more.  {Mini soap box moment//Artists and producers take great pangs to put the songs on their album in an order that they believe will be the most beneficial to their listener.  I would even go so far to say they've lost sleep over it.  I know I would.//end of mini soap box moment.}  One song on the Breaking Dawn Part II soundtrack really stuck out to me and I instantly fell in love with it:  "Everything and Nothing" by The Boom Circuits.

The lyrics speak of a relationship with a girl that is now gone and the writer is being haunted by the memories he has with her {why does this girl live in my dreams}.  The song as a whole is both stimulating yet heavy with longing. A conflicting desire to have what was but be rid of it at the same time {I can't have her, save me from her} is a continual theme throughout.  Talk about pulling on your heart strings.

So, of course, I had to check out the rest of The Boom Circuits music and I can report I wasn't disappointed. For sure.  I've described their sound as a little like Band of Horses but more "pop-infused."  If you're a fan of The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie sound/the lead singer's voice, then you'll like this band.  For sure.  Fo'shiz. Yeah.

Check out the song below {video using official NASA footage for any Howard Wolowitz's out there, hehe} or they've got a few posted on their Spacebook, errr, I mean, Facebook page.

Calli

P.S. Anyone catch the P.O.D. reference in the title {who are apparently still touring}?
P.S.S. Yes, I have read all of the Twilight books...and seen all of the movies.

Listening to
Time and Space EP
by The Boom Circuits

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Woo-Hoo College + {Bootstraps}

I love my friends.  Friends from my college years hold an extra special place in my heart.  We had some good, bad, and ugly times but we also had some pretty amazing ones too.  {Most of us} have  graduated, gotten married, had babies, moved to a different state or country, decided to go back for more torture, er I mean, schooling to get a Master's Degree or even a Ph. D. {smarty pants}.  So, when I get to see some of those friends, especially a lot of them in one setting, I get really giddy and nostalgic.  This past weekend, I went to one of my college friend's stateside wedding reception and got to see quite a few people I haven't seen since graduation.  Talk about good medicine for the heart.  Love you guys, so glad I got to see each one of you!

The band I'm posting about today was actually recommended by one of my good college friends/old roommate/birthday buddy, Stephanie.  She ran off to a different state after college that has beautiful snow-capped mountains and breathtaking, picturesque landscape in pursuit of a Master's degree.  Stephanie has such an eye for detail and so much creativity and talent that I know she'll do amazing at whatever she does in life.

The past year with the incorporation of Spotify into my music-listening life, Steph and I have periodically sent each other suggestions we thought the other one would like.  Steph really hit one out of the park when she suggested I listen to Bootstraps.  The lead singer's voice has a Ray LaMontagne sound that's easy on the ears.  The overall sound of their self-titled debut album has a very nostalgic feel that's perfect for anything from a lazy afternoon to chill music playing in the background for a gathering with friends, college friends at that.  The lyrics in each song reinforce the sentimentality like the Fortyfive {see video below} and in my favorite song on the album, Sleeping Giant:
i don’t wanna fight it and left our love a sleeping giant...
some old girl weighs on ya mind heavy as the web of lies,
that some old kid has always told left ages since we spoke,
like boney branches overgrown hack out the limbs,
with roots below but you and i undivided
don’t leave ya love, a sleeping giant 
So, indulge yourself in the nostalgic sounds of Bootstraps during this holiday season filled with family and friends.  Hugs some necks and allow yourself to relive a few of those good times with the people you hold most dear.

Calli

Listening to
Bootstraps
by Bootstraps

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Artist Spotlight: {Emily Hearn}

One of my favorite things to do on my lunch break is read.  While I read, I like to listen to music and typically use the Spotify app on my phone by starting a "radio station" based on a particular artist.  As I posted a few weeks ago, I'm currently obsessed with Penny and Sparrow so I've been using them a lot as my radio station "muse."  As a result, I've found a ton of amazing artists that I will be posting about in weeks to come. 

One of those artists stood out and I fell in love with their music almost immediately: Emily Hearn.  Now, she might resonate more so with girls but, guys don't be afraid to embrace it, she's just so good!  Emily does some great covers you can find on her Youtube page like Zac Brown Band's "Colder Weather" and Foo Fighters' "Best of You" {that one is my favorite}.  Her talent shines through each of her songs in her voice and lyrics.  Emily Hearn's music reminds me a tiny bit like Sara Bareilles but they are more similar in how their voices are both very strong and beautiful.

Search for Emily Hearn's music on Spotify or go to noisetrade.com to download a few of her songs for free.  Below is a live performance of one of my favorite songs on her Red Balloon album, "New Orleans," which I think it's proof enough of how talented she is.  Enjoy!


Calli

Listening to
Red Balloon 

I {heart} music.


NEEDTOBREATHE | Brady Theater, Tulsa | March 2012
I love music.  I love singing, playing the piano, listening to music, finding new artists, and going to concerts.  Writing music and lyrics is something pretty foreign to me - they're not something that come naturally to me.  So, my respect for singer/songwriters and artists in general is extremely high.  And when I find a band that I really enjoy listening to I want to turn around and share with everyone I come in contact with.  This is where my blog comes in to play.  I have been extremely sporadic over the last two years in my posting and the subjects have varied but the one thing I try to do in each of my posts is say what I'm listening to.

After some thought, I've decided to diligently work on posting each week a new artist or two that I've discovered so I can "share the wealth."  If you have someone you'd like for me to listen to, just comment on a post and I will gladly take a listen.  Disclaimer: I will post the bands and artists that I like and/or appreciate - I'm not getting paid to do this so, I can do what I want. :)

I hope you enjoy listening to my finds and that it widens your music spectrum.

Calli

P.S. Check back in about 30 minutes for a post. Get excited.

Listening to
NORDO
by Air Traffic Controller


  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Heroes and Monsters

Good Morning!
I just had to share this video/band with everyone.  I randomly found this band out of Austin on Spotify and LOVE their music...like I can't help myself at all.  Their music is absolutely beautiful and with the lyrics plus the lead singer's voice, they take me to this calming, sentimental almost nostalgic state of mind. They've got a few more original songs on their YouTube channel as well as some great covers.  I would suggest leaning your head back and closing your eyes while listening...



Calli
P.S. You can download this song for FREE on their website. Do it!

Listening to
Creature
by Penny & Sparrow




Friday, October 12, 2012

Serbia - A Recap

Below is a recap of my trip to Serbia this past July plus a little video slideshow...Enjoy!


My team consisted of five other members: James and Katy from Fort Worth (expecting a sweet baby girl in November; James is the president of Bridges for Christ), Matt and Beth from Claremore, and Chris from Claremore (treasurer of Bridges for Christ). We traveled almost 1000 miles in a nine day time span to meet the six national workers that Bridges for Christ is partnered with (these workers are trained by and supported through Children’s Evangelism Fellowship). Darko, who is one of the national workers but also the Director, was our “tour guide/navigator” throughout our trip.

We started in Vranje, which is as far south as you can get in Serbia, where we stayed with Jan and Ruženka. They have two kids Benjamin (19) and Rebeka (9). In the last eight months, they moved away from family and church in the North to work with refugees in this area. We spent the most time there helping with the Good News Clubs (a weekly Vacation Bible School-type meeting) at different refugee camps. I loved getting to know this family as well as some of the kids from the area. During this time, I really felt the effects of having a language barrier; however, I learned through that, that patience, attentiveness, and a physical presence relays the message that you love and care for them.

Our last day with the Jan and Ruženka's family, we swam in lake Vlasina that is the water source for the Serbian water bottle brand, Vlasinka Rosa. We ate dinner at Darko’s house that evening in Niš. The next morning a few of us went to a bizarre where we bought a few souvenirs and toured a Concentration Camp. We then set out for Novi Sad, which was about four hours away. When we reached the city, we stopped at the Petrovaradin Fortress, which had a gorgeous view of Novi Sad. For dinner we had pizza then went on to Darko’s parent’s house in Čelarevo. They were the sweetest couple and reminded me of my mom’s parents.

The next two days were a blur because I got what we affectionately called, Serbia’s Revenge. I won’t go into any detail but I felt like dying. Thankfully, I was able to travel to Kamp Mrčajevci, which is like a very small version of Falls Creek. The main focus of the national workers is reaching out to children in their areas so Kamp Mrčajevci is a time that the kids can learn more about Christ, get three full meals a day (which is new to most of them), and be around other Christian Serbians.

The last full day we were in Serbia, we spent time with Dragan and Daniela that are ethnically Roma Gypsy and minister to that community in the city of Aranđelovac. We visited a refugee camp of Gypsies where I fell in love with a group of precious girls. These girls had just gotten back from a week at Kamp Mrčajevci and kept saying they wanted to go back “home.”

I have a ton of stories from the trip and would love to share more with you. I would like to challenge you to prayerfully consider going to Serbia soon. Giving financially is an important factor but the “workers are few and the harvest is plenty” in this country.

As you may have already seen on Facebook, I am going back by myself to Serbia, December 29-January 7, to help with their pre-Christmas ministry opportunities (Christmas is celebrated on January 7). I ask for your prayers as I go during winter weather and a time when my allergies typically attack me.

Thanks for reading!


Calli
Listening to
"Now is the Start"
by A Fine Frenzy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Packing...need I say more?

Numbers. You like numbers? I like numbers. Here's some numbers:

36 hours till my plane leaves Tulsa for NYC.
5 hour plane ride from Tulsa to LaGuardia Airport
2 days till I'm in NYC
10ish hours I will spend in NYC {seeing ONCE The Musical I might add!!}
3 days till I'm on a cruise ship headed for Bermuda
5 days total at sea {to and from Bermuda}
3ish days "esplorin" Bermuda
3.5 days between returning from Bermuda to leaving for Serbia
14 days till Serbia
2 times I have to pack a suitcase

Take that and divide it by 3.14 and you get a math nerd, a crazy month, and a girl who's about to pull her hair out deciding what to pack and how many pairs of shoes are absolutely necessary.

Packing might be the death of me.  But, at least I'm working on my playlist and listening to good music like Air Traffic Controller


Calli

Sunday, June 24, 2012

18 Days Till Serbia

I leave for Serbia in 18 days. 

Yes, Serbia not to be confused with Siberia {which I did in my head the first time I heard about this opportunity} and it's three countries to the right of Italy or click here. Serbia and some of the surrounding countries made up what was formerly known as Yugoslavia. Life has been slightly insane the last few months so I haven't had time to really notify the World Wide Web about my plans. Forgive me.

We had our final meeting tonight to cover some logistics {for my sanity} and go over any other "cultural norms" we needed to know before going. I'm a little nervous since this will be my first international trip but overall I'm ecstatic.

How did I choose Serbia?

I had decided that I wanted to go on an international mission trip in 2012 and was looking at a few options that were through my church. I had sorta settled on one trip but was open to other opportunities. So back in November, Chris {our group's leader} gave his testimony about an organization, Bridges For Christ, he was involved in as well as a board member that supported missionaries in Serbia {that was the moment where I thought, oh, Siberia, must be cold}. He said he was looking at taking a group in 2012 and I knew at that moment I had to find out more.

I contacted his wife, Nicole, and met with her {at Braum's} to talk about Serbia. We hit it off almost immediately and she has become a very good friend and mentor figure in my life - more of that some other time :). I'm not quite sure when the exact moment was where I made the firm decision to go but it was somewhere between meeting at Braum's and playing The Game of Redneck Life with Nicole and some girls from RSU. When I met with Chris & Nicole in early January to talk through the trip itself and give them the definitive yes, I was ready to go.

Over the last six months or so, I've had the privilege of spending time with them {mainly Nicole} each week and not always, but part of the time we end up talking about Serbia.  During that time, I've fallen in love with a country and a people I've yet to meet. In Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, he says, in regards to liking jazz music, "sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way." I believe that Chris & Nicole have "shown me the way" not only to love the people of Serbia but so many other things to. I am forever grateful that the Lord brought you guys in my life at the time he did.

I leave in 18 days. I'm going on a cruise to Bermuda with my company in 6 days which really only leaves me about 9 days total to prepare for Serbia. Yikes, says the planning, organized part of me.

I will try to post again before I leave on the cruise and give you more insight as to what we will do when we get to Serbia. Until then, please keep me and my team in your prayers:
- Flexibility {for myself, especially}
- Unity and like-mindedness within our team {Chris, Matt, Beth, and me}
- Hearts that will be open and teachable
- Patience in a culture and language that is not our own
- Safety in travel
- That we would be a blessing, not a hindrance to the workers and their ministry

Thank you for taking the time to read about this awesome opportunity I have to share Christ's love with a people who dearly need to hear and know. Thank you for your friendship and your prayers. Please feel free to comment with any questions.

Calli

Listening to
"Keep Your Eyes Open"
The Reckoning
by NEEDTOBREATHE


Friday, May 4, 2012

The 6th Man {In A Band}

On Saturday night, I went to the BOK Center and saw the Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys.  I'm not the biggest fan of AM - they had a few good songs but most of them sounded the same to me. The Black Keys, on the other hand, were sensational. Loved them. I especially loved it when Patrick and Dan {THE Black Keys} played just the two of them. Here's a few pics from the night:

Arctic Monkeys  
The Black Keys
The Black Keys
The Black Keys - Encore

The Black Keys - Finale

During one of the songs, I noticed that the lights were super in sync with the drum beat. My immediate thought was “that’s some spot-on programming.” Then I realized, it’s not like a loop or click track you follow. So, I looked down at the sound booth and started watching their lighting technician/producer guy. The part of the song that I’d noticed the light synchronization came up and sure enough, he was basically “playing” along with the music. 

My first “realization” of what a lighting technician did was when we had THE ADDAMS FAMILY at the Tulsa PAC. Part of my job has to do with press and promotions. On opening night of each show when the curtain goes up, I walk station cameras in and we stand in the back so they can shoot stills for an article or broll for TV interviews. They typically can shoot for the first 30 minutes so I get a little antsy standing with them {because I’m usually in heels}.

Watching THE ADDAMS FAMILY in
NYC with my coworkers

I had already seen THE ADDAMS FAMILY in NYC {with Nathan Lane & Bebe Neuwirth, see pic above} so I wasn’t really paying close attention to the show when I noticed the lighting guy was really working during the first scene. I guess I’d thought they only turned the house lights down, stage lights up, and then just sat back and relaxed for the rest of the show. Boy, was I wrong. The lighting guy functioned not only as a member of the orchestra bringing the lights up as the music crescendo, but also as a member of the cast “setting the mood,” quite literally, as the stage danced with colored lights following the movements of the characters. 

So, as I watched this "hidden" member of the band play along with The Black Key and I remembered the lighting technician for THE ADDAMS FAMILY, I thought to myself here’s the “sixth man” in a band, like the movie. This may not be the greatest example but I think you get the gist. This is my shout-out to all the lighting technicians: thanks for making concerts, plays, musicals, etc. be that much better and add to our experience in ways we may not always fully comprehend.  

Props lighting guy, big props.

The Black Keys Lighting Technician
{apologize for the fuzzy picture}

Calli

Listening to
Pulling Back The Veil 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Triple Threat Trifecta

Hi Blog, my name is Calli, your author...do you remember me?

This past weekend I went to Stillwater, OK and it was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. Why, you may ask? Well, since you ask, I will tell you. This weekend consisted of three of my favorite things, the "triple threat trifecta," if you will: gorgeous weather, excellent music, and great coffee. I call it the "triple threat trifecta" not because I want to be redundant but because I got to do/experience all these great things with my best friend, Rachel.  And, that to me, is a formula for a "triple threat trifecta."


Gorgeous Weather
Saturday morning, after enjoying an awesome cup of French Pressed coffee (see below), a walk around Boomer Lake, and lunch at Red Rock Bakery, we wound up in Downtown Stillwater in the middle of a Street Festival. We were pleasantly surprised and very thankful that we stumbled across this little event.

Excellent Music
Exhibit A: The Non
Instrumental band from OKC. First heard them at The Conservatory in OKC when I went to see The Rocketboys. Saw on Facebook last Friday that they were playing on the Willard Lawn. So after we ate our weight in chips, salsa, and queso at El Vaquero, Rach and I took a ton of blankets and set up shop on the Lawn. Excellent band - awesome music. Czech'em out: TheNonBand.com

Exhibit B: Random Jam Session Outside an Antique Store
While we were wondering around Downtown Stillwater, Rachel wanted to go to look in this antique store.  We walked up to this store and these two gentlemen were sitting outside, jamming away and enjoying the gorgeous weather as well.  I just love this picture:

Great Coffee
Introduction to French Pressed Coffee: First off, where have you been all my life? My mind was blown as I sipped my first cup of French Pressed coffee Saturday morning that Rachel's husband professionally brewed - I experienced flavors in coffee that I never knew existed. I'm not over-exaggerating at all. It was just...wow.  So, I went and bought some supplies to have my own French Pressed coffee experience every morning.  No more office coffee for me - I'm a coffee snob. And proud of it.

Aspen Coffee: You can't go to Stillwater and not hit up Aspen Coffee, especially the one on Western.  Rach and I went after our Street Festival experience and it just topped off the day for us.  Rach had what she called "a cup full of yummy sugar" and me, of course, the White Chocolate Mocha.  We sat outside, soaked up some more gorgeous weather and solved all the world's problems. Yes, you can rest easy now, we have everything under control.

I'm very thankful that I was able to spend the weekend with my bestie and we got to do all these great things plus have awesome conversations.  But to be honest, I set out to do this blog post because I haven't updated in literally four months and I like sharing new bands/music. As I wrote and came to the end of my post, I realized that the real "triple threat trifecta" is that my friendship with Rachel revolves around Christ.  This weekend could not have been what it was without the grace and love of Christ. Yes, the sun gave us endorphins and the coffee gave us energy but spending time with someone who desires to know and be used by Christ with all their being creates an encouragement that exceeds everything.  That, my friend, is wow, just wow.

Calli

Listening to
Pala
by Friendly Fires







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